Open Accessibility Menu

Top 6 benefits of breastfeeding for moms and babies

Top 6 benefits of breastfeeding for moms and babies

August is National Breastfeeding Month, the perfect time to explore the advantages breastfeeding brings to mamas and their little ones.

Count on this

  1. Breastfeeding is convenient. As a breastfeeding mom, you won’t have to mix formula. If your baby is nursing from your breast, the milk doesn’t have to be warmed, and there are no bottles or nipples to sterilize.
  2. Breast milk will keep a while. You can use a pump to express breast milk, keeping it for future use. Breast milk is safe to use for up to four hours at room temperature and up to four days when refrigerated. You can also freeze breast milk for up to 12 months. The Office on Women’s Health recommends storing it at the back of the fridge or freezer where the temperature stays coldest.
  3. Breast milk is free. Over the course of a year, you can save an estimated $1,500 in formula expenses by giving your baby breast milk, according to the Office of the Surgeon General.
  4. Breastfeeding is better for your baby. Reports show that breastfed infants and toddlers get a leg up in this world through breast milk, which lowers your baby’s risk of developing:
    • Asthma
    • Cavities
    • Crohn’s disease
    • Diabetes
    • Ear infections
    • Eczema
    • Obesity
    • Orthodontia issues
    • Persistent or severe diarrhea
    • Severe lower respiratory infections
    • Sudden infant death syndrome
    • Ulcerative colitis
  5. Breastfeeding is a calorie burner. If you’re a breastfeeding mom, you’ll use between 500 to 700 calories a day just feeding your child. If you have a goal to lose weight post-pregnancy, breastfeeding can help you get there.
  6. Breastfeeding has other health benefits for mom, too. Breast and ovarian cancers, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes occur less frequently among women who have breastfed babies.

How long should I breastfeed?

Breastfeeding exclusively is recommended for the first six months of your baby’s life. After six months, you can begin supplementing your baby’s breast milk with nutritious soft foods. As of June 2022, the AAP supports continued breastfeeding until your child turns 2 or older if you’re both agreeable to it.

The recommendation is based on the nutritional value breast milk provides your child’s developing brain and body, including some growth factors and nutrients that cannot be replicated in manufactured baby formulas. The milk your body makes is ideal for your baby in nearly every instance and every way.

What if I’m struggling to breastfeed?

Many moms find breastfeeding challenging at first until they establish a milk supply, find a comfortable position and learn how to help their baby get a good latch. You can take comfort in knowing LCMC Health has resources and a support system in place to help you achieve success. Our certified lactation consultants understand the benefits of breastfeeding and are available to assist you and your baby with breastfeeding from pre-birth and beyond.

Some moms have chronic conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, depression or diabetes, requiring medication that they worry will transfer to their breast milk. If you have this concern, talk to your doctor or your child’s pediatrician. Often, it’s safe to continue taking your medication while breastfeeding.

If you’re curious about breastfeeding or have questions, check out our free monthly classes.

If you have a high-risk pregnancy, you may require advanced services that include maternal-fetal medicine, obstetrics and pediatrics. At LCMC Health, we care for you and your little one in a convenient, collaborative environment featuring these three specialties.

Come see what all the fuss is about (hint—it’s about you and your baby).